What Kind of Fool Am I and the David Bowie – Anthony Newley link
“What Kind of Fool Am I” sung by Peter Bennett
I headed over to New Vista, a home in Sunland, a little piece of “Small Town America” at the top of Los Angeles, nestled in the western extremity of the San Gabriel Mountains, I took a quick snap after I loaded up the car as I left:
Today had two firsts – declarations of love from one of the audience, as in several ‘I love you’s’ from one Paulina, thanks P… and my first live rendition of What Kind of Fool Am I, a song by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse, written in 1961 for the musical Stop The World I Want To Get Off. Newley and Bricusse became the first Britons to win ‘Best Song’ Grammies in 1963 with it. It brought the house down yesterday, straight-up!
David Bowie who sadly died in January this year, was heavily influenced by Newley, as far as sounding a lot like him especially early in his career, a kind of ‘cheeky cockney’ style that Newley perhaps drew from music hall stars of his childhood but developed into a ‘Swinging Sixties’ version. I love Newley’s theatrical presentations of songs, a fine actor, he fused both skills into his performance.
It surprised me how well it went today – the ‘Broadway’ section of my sets has become perhaps the most powerful part and people seem to have an innate understanding of the low to high ‘builds’ and ‘drama’ of these Broadway style songs – the good news is there are plenty more to find!
I recorded a vocal to the song yesterday evening, my version ‘tops and tails’ this post. Thanks for listening!